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“ [123] other towns, as to prudentials.” If it had rights “as other towns,” and was treated by the Legislature “as other towns,” in what did its peculiarity consist? This question is easily answered. Its peculiarity consisted in having the major part of its territory owned by one gentleman, and he a resident in London. Mr. Cradock, the strongest and wealthiest friend of the Colony, had this grant of land in partial remuneration for his great outlays for the Company. He was sometimes excused from taxes. Here was another peculiarity, but no withdrawal or relinquishment of vested rights. This fact rendered town-laws more important. It required very strong and peculiar laws to regulate the fishermen, coopers, ship-carpenters, and farmers, whom Mr. Cradock had established here. Such laws could not be enforced except by a proper civil authority; and such authority every thing proves to have existed.

Mr. Cradock's grants were not made till 1634-5; but Medford was taxed, “as other towns,” in 1630. Here, therefore, were four or five years in which it acted as an incorporated town before Mr. Cradock came into possession of his grant. During those four or five years, it could not have been a “manor;” but, at that time, it became a town; which character it has possessed to this day unbroken, and which character was stamped upon it, “by a general act” of the government in 1630, and now remains in force.

Causes of prosperity.

After the English Parliament had assembled in 1640, the persecutions of the Puritans were stopped. Deep policy suggested this change of affairs in England; and a consequence was, that emigration to New England ceased, and was not renewed with any spirit till 1773. New England, therefore, was peopled by the descendants of those who emigrated between 1620 and 1640; and this fact we would mention as the first cause of prosperity. God sifted, the kingdoms of the Old World that he might find wheat sufficiently good to plant in the virgin soil of the New; and, when planted, he kept it to himself, a chosen seed, till it should spread, and fill the land.

Another cause of prosperity to New England was found in the institution of families. Each family was a unit, a

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